They met in high school and became lifelong friends. For six years.
Carol Kestenbaum, from Bellmore, L.I., and Nicole Schiffman, from Merrick, L.I., — classmates at Kennedy High School in Merrick — were typical teenage friends, “talking together and shopping together and watching movies together,” said Laurie Fontana, a friend of the Kestenbaum family. They graduated together in 2005. “They went together to their senior prom.”
During a trip in Poland in the mid-1920s, Jacob Kret, a teenage yeshiva student from the northeast part of the country, found himself in the town of Radin, home of Rabbi Israel Meir Kagan, an aged Talmudic authority who was known as the Chofetz Chaim and was regarded as the Torah leader of his generation.
Unable to get home in time for Shabbat, the young man stayed in the home of the Chofetz Chaim, sleeping on a straw bed, eating and praying and discussing religious topics with the sage.
On a typical Friday night, there are some empty seats in the sanctuary of Temple Emanu-El, Manhattan’s prestigious Reform congregation. Several hundred worshippers come usually.
On a typical Friday-night service during Chanukah, the numbers go up. To about a thousand. Last Friday night was standing room only.
During his 43 years as a human rights activist, Rabbi Arthur Schneier has met three popes in the Vatican.
Next week the current head of the Catholic Church will pay the rabbi a return visit.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced on Thursday that Pope Benedict XVI will visit Park East Synagogue on the Upper East Side on the afternoon of Friday, April 18, during the pontiff's first trip to the United States. Only two popes are known to have previously set foot in a synagogue: Benedict XVI in Cologne in 2005, and his predecessor, John Paul II, in Rome in 1986.
Troubled conservative moment beefs up its Washington presence
Even as leaders of a troubled Conservative movement try to fend off an incipient rebellion by some synagogues and deal with declining affiliation, they are accelerating their efforts to create an active, visible — but cautious — Washington presence.
The rabbis and cantors of Temple Emanu-El have for decades kept an eye on the clock on the bima near the end of Friday night worship services. Since 1940, WQXR Radio — and before that, WHN — carried a live broadcast from the sanctuary starting at 5:30 p.m. and ending exactly at 6 o’clock.
A Manhattan rabbi who is organizing, for the first time, High Holy Days worship services this year in her neighborhood, has a message for New York City’s active, identified, affiliated Jews: Stay where you are.
Only a few thousand Jews live in Utah, international center of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints, better known as the Mormons.
But, says a researcher in Salt Lake City, several thousand Jews are on the Mormon Church’s membership rolls — Jews who were posthumously baptized and converted into the Mormon faith.
A congregant in Rabbi David Hirsch’s synagogue approached him with a request one recent Shabbat after shacharit services: She wanted a new prayerbook, one with more-extensive commentaries.
Rabbi Hirsch, spiritual leader of the Fleetwood Synagogue in Mount Vernon for four years, was delighted. The veteran member of the congregation was part of the new Fleetwood Kollel, the first community kollel of its kind in Westchester.